Regulation

Date set for decision on UKOG’s Dunsfold drilling plans

A decision on gas exploration plans near the Surrey village of Dunsfold is expected by June 2022.

Access road to UKOG’s proposed Loxley gas exploration site on left.

A planning inspector has submitted a recommendation on the proposals by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG).

The final decision will be made by the secretary of state for levelling up.

In a statement to shareholders this morning, UKOG, reported that the minister was expected to issue his decision on or before Tuesday 7 June 2022.

The exploration proposal was considered by a public inquiry in July and August 2021. This followed two votes to refuse planning permission by Surrey County Council (details here and here)

UKOG had sought consent for vertical and lateral wells at the site, also known as Loxley.

Key issues at the inquiry included the impact of the site on the nearby Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as on climate change, and local roads and businesses.

UKOG has said if it found gas at Loxley/Dunsfold it would seek permission to use it as a feedstock for hydrogen.

Referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, UKOG’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, said today:

“We believe new UK domestic gas, from sites such as Loxley, could help increase security of supply and help mitigate against such price volatility. In these respects, moving Loxley forward would also be entirely consistent with the Prime Minister’s recent statement regarding a new energy strategy that includes using more domestic hydrocarbons to reduce Russian imports.”

The UK imports less than 4% of its gas consumption from Russia. Half UK gas comes from the North Sea. Of imports, 55% is from Norway, 20% from Qatar and 11% from the US.

Earlier this year, Dunsfold’s MP, Jeremy Hunt, described the UKOG plans at “extraordinary”, given the UK’s carbon reduction targets. It would, he said, take the country in “exactly the wrong direction”.

19 replies »

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